Monday, November 16, 2009

Originality is Dead: I Have Proof!


There have been a number of occasions over the two-year run of iBlog where I have slagged Hollywood for their general lack of creativity when it comes to television and films.

From everything to horrible reality shows featuring Jackson siblings you don't care about (and may never have heard of before... I'm talking to you Jackie!) or talk show hosts becoming judges on singing competitions (even So You Think You Can Dance would make more sense), everything to this point has just been about my elitist view that Hollywood simply doesn't have the right creative people around to cook up fresh, new ideas any more.

Yes, part of it is that I wish I could write movies or television shows or whatever because the stuff they are making is crap. There... I said it... happy?

Anyway, when it comes to the film industry, website /film.com has come through with my evidence!

We're a solid nine-and-a-half years into the decade. D'you know how many of the Top 50 grossing movies of this millennium are original works?

Nine.

Nine, as in, "I can count them all on my hands!"

They are: Finding Nemo, Kung-Fu Panda, The Incredibles, Hancock, Ratatouille, The Day After Tomorrow, Madagascar, Monster Inc. and WALL-E.

How Hancock made that list absolutely astonishes me; I guess some people really love Will Smith.

Anyway, the remaining 41 films are all based on previous material of some kind. There are adaptations of television shows (The Simpsons Movie), books (LOTR Trilogy), comics (Spiderman, Iron Man, etc.) and sequels, which could maybe get a pass in my books, but still.

Even with the sequels to films like Shrek and Ice Age off the list, we're still talking about more than 75% of the films on the list being spun from the original ideas of someone else.

What is even more alarming than the number of knock-offs and new interpretations hitting the list is the alarming lack of quality original material for actual living, breathing actors.

Apparently, only animation studios can come up with their own ideas that are unique and entertaining for people, as all but two of the aforementioned nine films are animated features.

Perhaps I am being too picky; some of these sequels and retreads have actually been pretty good, but if we're being honest and I had a choice between a new spin on the telling of a familiar tale and sitting down to watch an well-crafted original work like The Usual Suspects or Seven, I'm taking the originals every time.

Tell me what you think: is creativity on hiatus in Hollywood or have we simply gotten to a point where people want remake, refried, retread entertainment more than having to think about something new?

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